§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many citizens of Sri Lanka have applied for entry clearance to enter the United Kingdom since the introduction of the requirement of such citizens to obtain entry clearance to enter the United Kingdom; how many entry clearance officers there are at the British embassy in Colombo; what assurances have been sought from the Sri Lankan authorities about safeguarding any Sri Lankan citizens who apply at the British embassy in Colombo for entry clearance; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Renton
I have been asked to reply.
Since the introduction of the visa requirement 1,327 Sri Lankans have applied for visas at the British high commission in Colombo, up to and including 30 June. Sri Lankans will also have applied at other British posts overseas, but details of their number could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
There are five entry clearance officers at the British high commission, Colombo.
Our High Commissioner has sought and obtained assurances from the Sri Lankan authorities that immediate remedial action will be taken should any harassment of visa applicants occur.